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Shwan Sebastian ingsswank aus Wien ‘a Paganini Duo ances was truly exceptional. Such was the great romantic sonata’ artistry of these players, and their superbly though it is hardly that enewed thanks are chamber-musical collaborative intuition, that and Schumann’s other description of it as ‘ein rom- R due to the Embassy of Ecuador and the Latin they truly impressed the audience throughout. In particular, their accounts of Paganini’s antisches Schaustück’ is nearer American and Caribbean Cul- Sonata for violin and guitar and the Toccata the mark. Every figuration and tural Society for their joint pres- and Aria by the Lebanese composer Houtaf texture is uniformly characteristic of the entation of a remarkable concert at the Khoury (written for the Duo and receiving its composer yet although there was no denying Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room on June 29, London premiere), made a very strong imp- the ongoing sense of coherence in Costa’s featuring the Paganini Duo, comprising two ression. Solo guitar pieces played by Julio performance, his touch was often heavy, his very gifted musicians from Ecuador. The Almeida – de Falla, Garoto and Piazzolla – rhythmic pulse stiff. concert commemorated the bicentenary of the demonstrated this gifted musician’s ability to Moments later the situation could not have gaining of the country’s independence on draw a wide range of tone-colour and genuine been more different in Chopin’s Sonata Op.58. August 10, 1809. characterisation from his instrument. In the Throughout, though especially in the Allegro The players – Jorge Saade-Scaff violin, and second half, Diego Luzuriaga’s Suite on maestoso, there was a beautiful reconciliation of Julio Almeida guitar, jointly and severally rhythms and places in Ecuador proved a romantic turbulence with classical order. In the brought a wide range of music, but the greatest brilliantly successful piece and the concluding Largo as well, although the music was const- interest was centred upon music by Ecuadorian item, Enrique Espín Yépez’ Pasional, inspired antly on the move, it was pervaded by a deep and Middle-Eastern composers, including by Vieuxtemps’ Fifth Violin Concerto, proved a calm. Likewise the finale was exultant and elev- works specially written for and dedicated to most winning conclusion to a fascinating and ated, the whole interpretation seeming the fruit these musicians. eminently worthwhile evening. of long consideration, of many earlier readings. The programme’s title From Paganini to the Robert Matthew-Walker There was no doubt of the purity of intent- Andes suggested a veritable kaleidos- ion of Costa’s account of the Suite bergamasque cope of varied pieces, and we Bax: Concertino for Piano yet with its Minuet, Passepied etc it is an early were not disappointed. With – world premiere example of neo-clasicism and not top-drawer original pieces and trans- Debussy. The exception is Clair de lune, an criptions by such estab- ne of the many almost magical thrust into the future, into some of the territory the mature composer would lished European masters as Massenet, Paganini, O pleasures of the Orchestra of the Swan’s dominate. Like the other movements, it was Vieuxtemps and de Falla programmes is its very decently played. Finally came Turina’s set alongside quite un- commitment to new Danzas fantasticas, irreproachably made in the familiar but none the less repertoire, but although style of Albéniz. Granados and others yet by a most welcome music by this was ostensibly a ‘Last com
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